7 Simple Ways to Eat Less Sugar

Health organizations recommend consuming less than six teaspoons (25 grams) per day of added sugar, but most Americans eat up to 22 daily teaspoons (92 grams). It can be challenging to eliminate added sugar from your diet entirely — here are some ways to cut back.

1. Don’t Sip Your Sugar
Most added sugar comes from beverages like soda, fruit juice cocktails, sports drinks, and sweet tea, making it too easy to gulp down dozens of grams of sugar within minutes. Instead, drink more plain water, flavored sparkling water, or herbal, green, or black tea.

2. Change Your Desserts
Although it’s not necessary to completely cut out dessert, it can be helpful to swap out what kinds of desserts you eat. Rather than eat sugary cakes or cookies, try a couple of squares of high-cacao dark chocolate or a bowl of fruit with cinnamon.

3. Watch Out For Sauces
Storebought ketchup, barbeque sauce, marinara sauce, and even salad dressings can be unexpected added sugar sources. Check the labels to look for ones without added sugar — or make some of them on your own at home, like simple salad dressings.

4. Skip the Low-Fat Foods
Packaged low-fat foods have to make up for the lost flavor from fat with something — usually added sugar. Instead of buying these low-fat foods or snacks that might seem healthier, just eat the regular, full-fat version, which will also keep you more satisfied.

5. Go Savory For Breakfast
Many breakfast foods are glorified desserts (think: pancakes, cereal, muffins). Instead, try scrambled eggs with veggies, a green smoothie, or full-fat Greek yogurt with berries.

6. Be a Label Reader
Sugar has many different names — make it a habit of reading ingredient lists and nutrition facts labels. While there are over 50 names for sugar, these are the most commonly seen: high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or cane juice, maltose, dextrose, and brown rice syrup.

7. Try Natural Sugar-Free Alternatives
Artificial sweeteners (like Splenda or Sweet’N Low) can reduce sugar intake but can also disrupt the gut microbiome. Instead, try natural sugar-free alternatives, like stevia or monk fruit.

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